Notebookcheck

Rise of the Tomb Raider Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 02/03/2016

Precision landing. After several rather poor PC ports (Batman Arkham Knight, Just Cause 3, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, etc.), the latest iteration of Tomb Raider finally leaves a better impression on the PC. We tested the action title on multiple notebook GPUs and checked the performance. Update: GT630M, HD 4000, M385X, Iris Pro 5200, 920M, M280X, Kaveri R7 added.

Rise of the Tomb Raider logo

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For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Rise of the Tomb Raider is based on the Foundation Engine, which was already used for the predecessor. However, the visuals changed a lot compared to the old title. Besides the textures, both the density of objects and particles can convince as well. This means the action adventure can create a great atmosphere, which is supported by diverse levels. You fight, climb and puzzle your way through icy caves, dusty canyons and dreamlike jungle areas during the first couple of hours of the game.

We were particularly impressed by two special effects, which have a very high quality, but do not require a lot of resources. Lara leaves huge traces when she wanders through the snow, which increases the credibility of the world and was not realized in such an efficient way in any previous game.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

The biggest highlight in our opinion is the hair simulation PureHair, which originates from AMD's TressFX. While the technology of the predecessor still needed a lot of resources and was primarily designed for AMD GPUs, PureHair now runs much faster (also on Nvidia GPUs), and it appears much more authentic. Our pictures show that there is hardly a difference between the setting On and Very High, whereas the deactivation of PureHair has a big impact.

Speaking of settings: The PC port was once again handled by the studio Nixxes from the Netherlands, who – except for the pretty high requirements – did a very good job. Similar to the last Tomb Raider, you can adjust the settings outside and within the game. Great: Changes within the game do not require a restart, there is only a short transition period (reloading textures, etc.).

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Another advantage is the large number of options, which were divided into two sub-menus. As usual, you can use Display to change the resolution and – when the option Exclusive Fullscreen is enabled – the refresh rate. A vertical synchronization is also available. The developers waived a general limitation of the frame rate. Otherwise, you can only adjust the anti-aliasing in the Display tab. While the post processing versions FXAA and SMAA do not deliver very good results (and can create a blurry picture), SSAA costs a lot of performance, so you should avoid it, at least when you use a notebook.

This leaves us with the Graphics menu, which includes dozens of settings. If you don't want to fiddle with all of them, you can also use one of five presets, which adjust the overall quality. You can argue about the presets though. Very High, for instance, does not always mean very high. If you want to experience Tomb Raider in the highest quality, you will have to adjust the settings by hand and select the highest options.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

The third-person shooter supports numerous modern effects like HBAO+ and tessellation, some of which are exclusive on the PC. The game looks pretty good with Medium settings, even though the best graphics are obviously reserved for the High or Very High presets. You should avoid the preset Low if possible, because the missing shadows, the weak illumination and the blurry textures will affect the atmosphere significantly.

All things considered, we would call the PC version surprisingly good. This verdict is also supported by the short loading times and the moderate size of the game (almost 20 GB). The gameplay itself leaves a great impression as well: Staging, gameplay, story-telling, size and controls can easily compete with other games.

PureHair Off
PureHair Off
PureHair On
PureHair On
PureHair Very High
PureHair Very High
PureHair Off
PureHair Off
PureHair On
PureHair On
PureHair Very High
PureHair Very High

Benchmark

It is a bit unfortunate that Rise of the Tomb Raider does not feature an integrated benchmark, but the tutorial works pretty well for performance evaluations. After the first two intro videos, Lara walks along a mountain passage and is confronted with opulent effects and an immense sight, which create a lot of GPU load and represent very demanding or stressful passages, respectively.

The frame rates in Rise of the Tomb Raider can fluctuate heavily depending on the situation, so the hardware should have some headroom: At least 30-35 fps during our benchmark sequence (see video) indicates decent playability. A lower frame rate would often result in annoying stutters and lags. As far as we can say, the title is heavily limited by the GPU. The processor only has a small impact on the performance or none at all; even at low or medium settings (benchmarks for low-end CPUs are still missing).

Results

We already mentioned that the hardware requirements are pretty high. Considering the reference-like effects, however, we think that the requirements are somewhat justified. You will need at least a lower-mainstream GPU to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at all. Processor chips like the Intel HD Graphics 4600 and older multimedia or all-round chips like the GeForce GT 740M or GT 750M cannot even handle minimum details. 1024x768 pixels and the preset Low will require a more modern mid-range GPU like the GeForce 940M. Normal details and 1366x768 pixels are playable with a GeForce GTX 850M or better.

We recommend a "real" gaming chip for 1920x1080 pixels. The preset High will run smoothly on a GTX 965M; the preset Very High on a GTX 970M. None of the notebook GPUs are powerful enough for 4K at 3840x2160 pixels. But even powerful desktop GPUs like the Radeon R9 Fury and the GeForce GTX 980 will reach their limits. Only the fastest high-end models (GTX 980 Ti etc.) and some SLI configurations should be powerful enough. Note: AMD GPUs are currently slower compared to their Nvidia counterparts. Intel GPUs on the other hand have problems with crashes – independent of the settings.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings

We also want to say a couple of words about the resolution debate on our forums. Because of the feedback, we decided to test medium details with 1920x1080 instead of 1366x768 pixels in 2016. However, we will only use the new scheme if there is a certain performance difference compared to the High preset (also 1920x1080 pixels). The performance between the presets Medium and High is almost identical in the case of Rise of the Tomb Raider. We therefore once again use 1366x768 pixels for an ideal frame rate gradation. As an example, we show the results of the GeForce GTX 950M (Iris Pro 5200):

  • 1024x768 + Lowest preset = 60 fps (26.6 fps) ... 100% (100%)
  • 1366x768 + Medium preset = 38 fps (14.8 fps) ... 63% (56%)
  • 1920x1080 + Medium preset = 25 fps (10 fps) ... 42% (38%)
  • 1920x1080 + High preset = 21 fps (7.8 fps) ... 35% (29%)
  • 1920x1080 + Very High preset = 17 fps ... 28%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
    3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x     1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x     1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x     1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x     1024x768 Lowest Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
27.9 (min: 25) fps ∼36%
71.3 (min: 64) fps ∼44%
80.5 (min: 76) fps ∼45%
135 (min: 130) fps ∼60%
205 (min: 194) fps ∼71%
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
32.4 (min: 29) fps ∼41%
57 (min: 46) fps ∼35%
72 (min: 62) fps ∼40%
110 (min: 104) fps ∼49%
159 (min: 147) fps ∼55%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
27.2 (min: 23) fps ∼35%
50.5 (min: 47) fps ∼31%
65 (min: 60) fps ∼36%
102 (min: 97) fps ∼45%
149 (min: 140) fps ∼52%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.8 (min: 19) fps ∼27%
47.9 (min: 45) fps ∼30%
56.4 (min: 52) fps ∼31%
93.9 (min: 83) fps ∼42%
139 (min: 116) fps ∼48%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
16.8 (min: 15) fps ∼21%
38 (min: 35) fps ∼24%
44.9 (min: 43) fps ∼25%
74.8 (min: 68) fps ∼33%
115 (min: 97) fps ∼40%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
14.6 (min: 13) fps ∼19%
32.3 (min: 30) fps ∼20%
36.3 (min: 33) fps ∼20%
55.9 (min: 53) fps ∼25%
84.9 (min: 81) fps ∼29%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K
Desktop PC
13 (min: 11) fps ∼17%
30.6 (min: 28) fps ∼19%
38.8 (min: 35) fps ∼22%
66.3 (min: 63) fps ∼30%
105 (min: 99) fps ∼36%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
11.9 (min: 11) fps ∼15%
30.4 (min: 26) fps ∼19%
37.7 (min: 35) fps ∼21%
66 (min: 58) fps ∼29%
106 (min: 95) fps ∼37%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
13.3 (min: 11) fps ∼17%
27.3 (min: 24) fps ∼17%
35.5 (min: 33) fps ∼20%
61 (min: 58) fps ∼27%
94 (min: 88) fps ∼33%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
11.3 (min: 10) fps ∼14%
25.8 (min: 24) fps ∼16%
30 (min: 28) fps ∼17%
47.4 (min: 45) fps ∼21%
71.9 (min: 68) fps ∼25%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
8.7 (min: 7) fps ∼11%
20.1 (min: 18) fps ∼12%
26.4 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
46.8 (min: 44) fps ∼21%
74 (min: 70) fps ∼26%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
7.9 (min: 7) fps ∼10%
19.6 (min: 18) fps ∼12%
22 (min: 20) fps ∼12%
36 (min: 34) fps ∼16%
57 (min: 54) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
17.2 (min: 15) fps ∼11%
21 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.5 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
60 (min: 57) fps ∼21%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
6.9 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
17 (min: 16) fps ∼11%
20.9 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.2 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
59.6 (min: 56) fps ∼21%
AMD Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
16.6 (min: 15) fps ∼10%
21.4 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.7 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
52 (min: 48) fps ∼18%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
9.4 (min: 8) fps ∼6%
11.6 (min: 10) fps ∼6%
21.1 (min: 19) fps ∼9%
34.3 (min: 32) fps ∼12%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
9 (min: 8) fps ∼6%
9.9 (min: 9) fps ∼6%
17.1 (min: 16) fps ∼8%
27.1 (min: 25) fps ∼9%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
7.8 (min: 6) fps ∼4%
14.8 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
26.6 (min: 24) fps ∼9%
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri), FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
8.1 (min: 6) fps ∼5%
16.6 (min: 15) fps ∼7%
25.8 (min: 23) fps ∼9%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
13.4 (min: 12) fps ∼6%
22.2 (min: 21) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
6.4 (min: 5) fps ∼4%
7.6 (min: 7) fps ∼4%
13.5 (min: 12) fps ∼6%
22 (min: 20) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
9.7 fps ∼4%
15.2 fps ∼5%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8.9 (min: 7) fps ∼4%
15.5 (min: 14) fps ∼5%
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
 Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)
low
1024x768
Lowest Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
2xAF
high
1920x1080
High Preset
4xAF FXAA
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Preset
16xAF FXAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
4xAF FXAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
180
161
69.652
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
288
224.3
155.5
138.9
68.4
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
80.92
79.752
75.352
 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Desktop)
205.7
161
142.1
139.2
74
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
80.9
79.8
67.7
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
244
201
131
1124
503
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
260.9
218.3
143.92
118.156
50.25
 8*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
125
109.62
43.6
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
107.3
95
94.7
94.4
60.9
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
982
40.952
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
203.65
163.55
106.612
92.319
37.756
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
224
163
103
88
40.6
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
100
803
34.82
 18AMD Radeon R9 Fury
159
110
72
57
32.4
 19AMD Radeon R9 Nano
56.2
29.8
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
205
135
80.5
72.72
27.9
 21AMD Radeon RX 580 (Desktop)
247
158.9
83.9
65.4
27.8
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
225.9
144.4
88.4
68.752
33.7
 24*NVIDIA Quadro P4000
115.87
103.18
76.78
65.47
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
78.7
72.4
71.4
68
31.9
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
214.052
139.752
81.652
66.93
27.53
 29*NVIDIA Quadro P3000
176.4
107
59.4
51.952
21
 31AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
57
25.62
 32*AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
176
121
64
53
22.9
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
1585
121.94
71.311
61.321
25.156
 34*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
124
65.6
51.1
23.5
 36NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
159.1
127.7
75.9
62.352
25.3
 39AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
68.7
54.23
25.3
 44AMD Radeon R9 290X
149
102
65
50.5
27.2
 48AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
152.2
104.4
55.3
42.8
 51NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
139.54
93.454
57.68
499
21.74
 53AMD Radeon R9 280X
116
78
49.3
39.4
21.1
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
112.6
71.3
43.7
36.1
17
 56NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
115.45
767
45.88
389
17.6
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
48.9
40.7
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
105.754
72.64
44.95
37.65
16.8
 59*NVIDIA Quadro M4000M
90
55
48
20
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
110.9
68.9
46.4
40.6
17.2
 68NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
114.9
69.9
40.2
33.4
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 69NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
42.22
36.9
15.6
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
110.256
669
38.212
3213
13.13
 73AMD Radeon R7 370
94
61
35.5
27.3
13.3
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
84.9
55.9
36.3
32.3
14.6
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
105
66.3
38.8
30.6
13
 83AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
69
36.6
27.9
12.9
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
102.93
63.654
36.65
29.15
11.9
 88NVIDIA Quadro M2200
128.7
72.22
41.152
34.82
13.7
 89NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
71.9
47.4
30
25.8
11.3
 91AMD Radeon HD 8970M
85
54
31.9
23.4
 96*AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop)
61.5
28.4
19.7
 103AMD Radeon Pro 460
76
25.8
20.8
 105NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
65.43
46.958
26.413
22.513
8.852
 111*AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop)
91
54
27
21
 112NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
74.12
45.452
24.12
19.72
7.62
 113NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
63.752
39.12
22.252
18.62
 114NVIDIA Quadro M2000M
723
45.154
25.64
21.74
9.23
 117*AMD Radeon Pro 555
73.6
23.5
 118*AMD Radeon Pro 455
84
24.9
18.3
 121NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
57
36
22
19.6
7.9
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 129*AMD Radeon Pro 450
66.6
20.82
 130NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
58.198
35.379
219
16.97
 132AMD Radeon R9 M385X
39.4
34.8
19.7
15.2
 133NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
59.6
37.2
20.9
17
6.9
 135*NVIDIA Quadro M620
62.2
36.6
20.4
 136AMD Radeon R9 M280X
52
37.7
21.4
16.6
 148Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580
30.2
18.2
12.2
8.9
 204NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
27.1
17.1
9.9
9
 206*NVIDIA Quadro M520
30
21.5
13.3
11.7
 207NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
35.115
2215
13.113
10.156
 209NVIDIA GeForce 940M
26.534
18.744
11.074
7.982
 210NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
35.092
19.842
10.9
 211AMD FirePro W4190M
14
8
 213*AMD Radeon 530
26.1
14.7
 215AMD Radeon R7 M445
29.6
15.1
8.5
6.7
 218*NVIDIA Quadro M600M
46.2
28.6
15.3
12.7
 226*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
20.63
12.43
6.652
 227AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
31
18.9
 228Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
26.6
14.8
7.8
 230NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
22
13.5
7.6
6.4
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 231NVIDIA GeForce 930M
25
16.4
9.6
7.7
 232*Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
25.9
18.3
 233*Intel Iris Graphics 550
25.452
18.33
10.22
4.3
 235*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
23.2
14.7
8.1
 238Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
24.652
18.052
9.1
 239Intel Iris Graphics 540
23.73
15.33
 240*NVIDIA Quadro M500M
30.3
18.6
10.4
 270AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
25.8
16.6
8.1
 271AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
21.1
15.7
11.4
 272*AMD Radeon R7 M460
19.5
12.2
6.8
 275AMD Radeon R7 M360
22.552
12.32
7.12
4.1
 280AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
24.152
14.352
7.652
 281AMD Radeon R7 M440
22.252
12.32
6.22
3.5
 287AMD Radeon R7 M340
28.2
15
 288NVIDIA GeForce 920M
20.252
12.352
6.4
3.7
 289AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
19.3
11.8
6.5
3.2